Google to invest $600 mn for data center in North Alabama

Search engine giant Google will invest $600 million at TVA’s Widows Creek coal plant site in North Alabama to build its newest data center.

This will be the 14th data center for Google across the globe.

Patrick Gammons, senior manager, Data Center Energy and Location Strategy, in a blog post, said that the company has recently expanded its data centers in Iowa, Georgia, Singapore and Belgium.

In 2010, Google was one of the first companies outside of the utility industry to buy large amounts of renewable energy. Since then, Google has become the largest corporate renewable energy purchaser in the world. Google bought the equivalent of over 1.5 percent of the installed wind power capacity in the U.S.

“Google’s Alabama data center will incorporate our energy efficiency technologies. We’ve built our own servers, invented more efficient ways to cool our data centers, and used advanced machine learning to squeeze more out of every watt of power we consume. Compared to five years ago, we now get 3.5 times the computing power out of the same amount of energy,” Gammons said.
Google plans data center in Alabama

The Tennessee Valley Authority approved the closure of Widows Creek earlier this year following EPA’s release of coal combustion rules requiring additional environmental and financial requirements.

“The idea of repurposing a former coal generating site and powering our new data center facility with renewable energy – especially reliable, affordable energy that we can count on 24/7 with the existing infrastructure in place – was attractive,” said Gary Demasi, director of Data Center Energy and Location Strategy for Google.

Google will invest $600 million in this project and will bring quality jobs to northern Alabama and the TVA region.

TVA’s transmission system ranks in the top 10 percent of U.S. utilities and achieved 99.999 percent reliability every year since 2000, surpassing Tier IV data center standards. TVA currently has 23 primary data center sites available across its seven-state service area.

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